How Do You Get Parkinson’s Disease?

A patient gets Parkinson’s disease due to degeneration or destruction of the nerve cells which produce dopamine. Absence of the neurotransmitter called dopamine makes it difficult for the brain to control and coordinate muscle movements which in turn produces symptoms of tremors. It must be remembered that Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder.

There are no particularly specific tests that confirm the presence of Parkinson’s disease. Once the patience comes with the symptoms, the doctor usually takes the physical history of the patient. His way of walking and level of cognition is assessed. The doctor then may ask the patient to go for certain tests like-

Blood Test- The blood test is usually done in order to rule out any other condition responsible for the symptoms of motor instability. Such conditions may include lever damage or abnormal thyroid level.

MRI and CT Scans- The patient may be asked to go for a CT or MRI scans to diagnose the presence of brain tumor or stroke. The MRI or CT scan results with Parkinson’s disease are usually normal.

PET Scan- PET scan may help in the detection of low levels of dopamine in the brain at times. PET scans are highly specialized imaging technique, which uses substances which are radioactive in nature to create three dimensional images of the substances in the body.

What are the Symptoms Present To Confirm Parkinson’s Disease?

In order to medically diagnose Parkinson’s disease, a minimum of two to four symptoms must be present. The four main symptoms include-

  • Shaking or tremors.
  • Acute slowness of movement called Bradykinesia.
  • Stiffness or rigidity of the arms, legs and trunk.
  • Problems with maintaining body balance and posture which result in falls called postural instability.

What are the Ways To Prevent Parkinson’s Disease In A Patient?

According to the research done so far, doctors and scientists believe that Parkinson’s disease is triggered through a combination of genetic factors and exposure to factors like trauma and certain kinds of toxins and illness. Thus, the Parkinson’s disease cannot be prevented as of now since proper etiology is yet to be discovered.

What are the Secondary Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease?

The primary symptoms of the Parkinson’s disease have to be obviously movement related and lose of muscles control. Since it is a neurodegenerative disease, continued damage to brain leads to secondary symptoms which vary in severity and people-

  • Feelings of insecurity, anxiety and stress.
  • Loss of memory, confusion and dementia.
  • Constipation.
  • Feelings characterized by depression and low mood.
  • Excessive salivation and difficulty in swallowing.
  • Reduced sense of smell.
  • Erectile dysfunction or ED in men.
  • Speech problems.

How to Cope Up With Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s disease is progressive and eventually affects every aspect of life from social engagements to work and normal life routines. The gradual loss of independence may be difficult, but being well informed about the disease may reduce the anxiety to a large extent. There are various support groups that offer valuable information to patients with such disease and how to cope with the same. These groups provide emotional support and also advice the patients with regard to finding experienced doctors, therapists and other related information.

Conclusion

Support groups and counseling sessions are widely available for the patients affected by Parkinson’s disease along with their caregivers to cope with the mental trauma and anxiety associated with it. With the various treatment options and therapies available due to the medical advancement, the quality of life of patients with Parkinson’s disease may be improved.

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